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  #1  
Old 09-10-2012, 02:51 PM
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Default My brand spanking new Mapex Saturn - Now with 100% more ROCK and 46% more ROLL

On friday I got a call from my dealer (no, not that kind of dealer) that a pallet full of boxes with Mapex logos had arrived:




So of course, on Saturday morning I headed down there, stuffed the boxes in my little Corolla (with a floor tom riding shotgun) and brought them down to our little rehearsal room to unpack them:




And after some assembly (kick drum heads and lugs), this is what the beast ended up looking like:




The toms were very nicely tuned straight out of the box, but they were definitely tuned way too high for me. It literally took me less than two minutes to get the toms sounding amazing though, and I didn't even touch the reso heads. I imagine that once I start really digging into the tuning subtleties of this kit, it will sound mindblowingly good. Man, I love the tunability of high end drums.

I had originally ordered a Black Panther Brass Cat snare to go with the kit, but that part of the order got lost somewhere in the supply chain. Oh well, I guess my Black Beauty will have to suffice for now

So, current specs:

Drums:
14x6,5 Ludwig Black Beauty snare
12x9 rack tom
16x16 floor tom
18x16 floor tom (BOOOOOM!)
24x18 kick drum (DOUBLE BOOOOOM!)

The finish is Arctic White with Black Nickel Hardware. Classic and versatile, and of course a white finish is always going to look killer on stage when it catches the different colours of the stage lights.

Cymbals:
(left to right)
14" Diril Traditional Hihat
18" Diril Traditional Crash
21" Meinl Byzance Dark Ride
18" Diril Traditional Crash
18" Wuhan China
18" Meinl MB20 Heavy Crash

I'll be experimenting with different cymbal setups. Those 18" crashes suddenly started to look pretty small next to that kick and those floor toms. Might have to break out my 19", 20" and 21" crashes instead

Last edited by Naigewron; 09-13-2012 at 02:24 PM.
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Old 09-10-2012, 02:58 PM
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Default Re: My brand spanking new Mapex Saturn - Now with 100% more ROCK and 46% more ROLL

Congrats on the new kit! Comfy setup you have there.
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  #3  
Old 09-10-2012, 03:01 PM
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Default Re: My brand spanking new Mapex Saturn - Now with 100% more ROCK and 46% more ROLL

Ooohhh.......aaahhh!!

Nice Naige. They look great, bet they sound it too.

Corolla? Sure you're not gonna need 50% more car just to haul them around?
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Old 09-10-2012, 03:05 PM
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Default Re: My brand spanking new Mapex Saturn - Now with 100% more ROCK and 46% more ROLL

Now that's a rock and roll kit if I've ever seen one. Looks great!
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Old 09-10-2012, 03:59 PM
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Default Re: My brand spanking new Mapex Saturn - Now with 100% more ROCK and 46% more ROLL

Nice!!

Congrats!


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Old 09-10-2012, 04:15 PM
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Default Re: My brand spanking new Mapex Saturn - Now with 100% more ROCK and 46% more ROLL

Amazing. Looks clean and comfy.
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Old 09-10-2012, 04:29 PM
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Default Re: My brand spanking new Mapex Saturn - Now with 100% more ROCK and 46% more ROLL

Just a heads up, the BB sounds a tiny bit nicer than the brass cat, not to mention you'll have 2 similar snares.

I say cancel the order and get a Saturn snare, they are seriously great snares.

Congrats btw, I kinda wish I had a 24.
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Old 09-10-2012, 04:33 PM
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Default Re: My brand spanking new Mapex Saturn - Now with 100% more ROCK and 46% more ROLL

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Originally Posted by Dre25 View Post
Just a heads up, the BB sounds a tiny bit nicer than the brass cat, not to mention you'll have 2 similar snares.

I say cancel the order and get a Saturn snare, they are seriously great snares.
You've essentially read my mind, sir.
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Old 09-10-2012, 04:45 PM
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Default Re: My brand spanking new Mapex Saturn - Now with 100% more ROCK and 46% more ROLL

Beautiful kit, and I love the finish! That former member who was known to occasionally sing the virtues of Mapex Saturn drums had a large kit in that same finish, IIRC. :)
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  #10  
Old 09-10-2012, 05:28 PM
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Default Re: My brand spanking new Mapex Saturn - Now with 100% more ROCK and 46% more ROLL

Very nice Naige. Clean & workmanlike.

When do the other 27 drums arrive?
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Old 09-10-2012, 08:07 PM
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Default Re: My brand spanking new Mapex Saturn - Now with 100% more ROCK and 46% more ROLL

Lovely kit Naige.
Get that Saturn snare. You know you want it.
Paul
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Old 09-10-2012, 09:10 PM
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Default Re: My brand spanking new Mapex Saturn - Now with 100% more ROCK and 46% more ROLL

Awesome looking and sounding kit, man, congrats!!
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  #13  
Old 09-10-2012, 09:44 PM
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Default Re: My brand spanking new Mapex Saturn - Now with 100% more ROCK and 46% more ROLL

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Very nice Naige. Clean & workmanlike.

When do the other 27 drums arrive?
Is that a dig on sticks? lol...
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Old 09-10-2012, 10:13 PM
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Default Re: My brand spanking new Mapex Saturn - Now with 100% more ROCK and 46% more ROLL

So, is this the passing of the Mapex torch?

The king is dead, long live the king?
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Old 09-10-2012, 10:15 PM
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Default Re: My brand spanking new Mapex Saturn - Now with 100% more ROCK and 46% more ROLL

Very nice, love everything about it. What kind of music do you play? BTW whatever happened to sticks?
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Old 09-10-2012, 10:24 PM
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Default Re: My brand spanking new Mapex Saturn - Now with 100% more ROCK and 46% more ROLL

Thanks for your comments guys! Just got back from rehearsal, and even the bass player and guitarist commented on how good this kit sounds!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 8Mile View Post
Beautiful kit, and I love the finish! That former member who was known to occasionally sing the virtues of Mapex Saturn drums had a large kit in that same finish, IIRC. :)
Yeah, I figured someone would pick up on that ;-)

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Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
When do the other 27 drums arrive?
Oh man, I hardly know what to do with five.

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What kind of music do you play?
I play both kinds: Rock and roll.
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  #17  
Old 09-10-2012, 11:21 PM
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Default Re: My brand spanking new Mapex Saturn - Now with 100% more ROCK and 46% more ROLL

Very nice, but why did you put the bass drum port hole dead center?

Dennis
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  #18  
Old 09-10-2012, 11:38 PM
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Default Re: My brand spanking new Mapex Saturn - Now with 100% more ROCK and 46% more ROLL

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Very nice, but why did you put the bass drum port hole dead center?

Dennis
It offers superior versatility for anyone who needs to play both kinds of music.
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Old 09-10-2012, 11:45 PM
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Default Re: My brand spanking new Mapex Saturn - Now with 100% more ROCK and 46% more ROLL

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Originally Posted by NerfLad View Post
It offers superior versatility for anyone who needs to play both kinds of music.
& sound tech's with left or right handed mic stands ;)
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Old 09-11-2012, 04:49 AM
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Default Re: My brand spanking new Mapex Saturn - Now with 100% more ROCK and 46% more ROLL

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It offers superior versatility for anyone who needs to play both kinds of music.
And what is this "center hole" versatility of which you speak?

Dennis
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  #21  
Old 09-11-2012, 04:52 AM
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Default Re: My brand spanking new Mapex Saturn - Now with 100% more ROCK and 46% more ROLL

I'm sensing someone teaching a Grandmother how to suck eggs...
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Old 09-11-2012, 05:07 AM
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Default Re: My brand spanking new Mapex Saturn - Now with 100% more ROCK and 46% more ROLL

Very nice kit! I'll bet it'll do Country and Western very well too!
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  #23  
Old 09-11-2012, 08:26 AM
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Default Re: My brand spanking new Mapex Saturn - Now with 100% more ROCK and 46% more ROLL

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Originally Posted by audiotech View Post
Very nice, but why did you put the bass drum port hole dead center?

Dennis
Thanks mate. Just trying it out; seeing how I like it. So far it's making my bass player complain about the huge puffs of air he feels on his legs, so I'd say it's working nicely :-)
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  #24  
Old 09-11-2012, 10:43 PM
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Default Re: My brand spanking new Mapex Saturn - Now with 100% more ROCK and 46% more ROLL

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Originally Posted by Naigewron View Post
I had originally ordered a Black Panther Brass Cat snare to go with the kit, but that part of the order got lost somewhere in the supply chain. Oh well, I guess my Black Beauty will have to suffice for now
Soooo yeah, update on the Black Panther. Someone did indeed mess up, but it wasn't who we thought. Turns out the snare arrived in the store back in early July and has been sitting there ever since!

So I'm back to my original plan: Use the Black Panther as my main workhorse and use the Black Beauty as my studio snare and modding project. The Beauty sounds amazing, but the hardware is a big load of "meh" (lug splay, crappy strainer and it detunes at the drop of a hat). I'll probably start experimenting with different hoops, tension rods and strainer mechanisms and see where it all leads me. Fun times :-)
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Old 09-12-2012, 12:53 AM
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Default Re: My brand spanking new Mapex Saturn - Now with 100% more ROCK and 46% more ROLL

Mmmm. I just want to lick them. Gotta love nickel hardware. You do realize cutting a hole in the center of your kick reso head is like having no head at all right? I'd be unporting that tone monster.
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Old 09-12-2012, 01:06 AM
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Default Re: My brand spanking new Mapex Saturn - Now with 100% more ROCK and 46% more ROLL

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Mmmm. I just want to lick them.
You do seem to be quite a tongue orientated chap of late Larry ;)
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Old 09-12-2012, 03:00 AM
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Default Re: My brand spanking new Mapex Saturn - Now with 100% more ROCK and 46% more ROLL

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Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
Very nice Naige. Clean & workmanlike.

When do the other 27 drums arrive?
They won't until those non-Canadian cymbals are burned in the fiery pits of hell. The Neil hath spoketh.
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Old 09-12-2012, 09:23 AM
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Default Re: My brand spanking new Mapex Saturn - Now with 100% more ROCK and 46% more ROLL

Nice kit, Naige. So do you let go of your Sonor? I used a Mapex kit for years, but it was
an Orion. I loved it. Funnily, now I play a Sonor :).

Nice finish, and I'd love to see how 24" BD and 18" tom sound and feel!! The BD sure
is deeper than those vintage kit BDs that are 24x14 mostly I believe.
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Old 09-12-2012, 09:51 AM
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Default Re: My brand spanking new Mapex Saturn - Now with 100% more ROCK and 46% more ROLL

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You do realize cutting a hole in the center of your kick reso head is like having no head at all right?
I didn't know that. My kick has a stock head with a big hole in the middle. I find that changing its tuning makes a difference, but not as much as a side port?

Naige, I will forever associate Mapex Saturns with Sticks. If these are as good as you say then maybe our dearly departed was on to something and has been unfairly judged? All I gathered from chats here is that Mapex were a lower-to-mid level brand but many budget brands have made the step up, eg. Pearl, Tama, Yamaha so it's no surprise that other brands follow suit.
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Old 09-12-2012, 10:03 AM
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Default Re: My brand spanking new Mapex Saturn - Now with 100% more ROCK and 46% more ROLL

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Naige, I will forever associate Mapex Saturns with Sticks. If these are as good as you say then maybe our dearly departed was on to something and has been unfairly judged? All I gathered from chats here is that Mapex were a lower-to-mid level brand but many budget brands have made the step up, eg. Pearl, Tama, Yamaha so it's no surprise that other brands follow suit.
I've never seen Mapex referred to as a mid level brand, at least not for the last 10-15 years. Their top lines are definitely up there with anything from comparable brands (Tama, Pearl, Premier, etc). These Saturns, along with the couple of Orion kits I've played, are easily some of the best sounding kits I've sat behind.

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
You do realize cutting a hole in the center of your kick reso head is like having no head at all right?
That's not what I've heard, and it definitely doesn't sound single headed to me. I've never noticed a difference in sound or feel based on where I've placed a port hole; it's only ever been determined by the hole size.

Like I said though, I'll be replacing this head anyway (never been a fan of the black glossy kick reso, and with a white kit it looks even more out of place), so I'm just experimenting for now :-)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Swiss Matthias View Post
Nice kit, Naige. So do you let go of your Sonor? I used a Mapex kit for years, but it was
an Orion. I loved it. Funnily, now I play a Sonor :).

Nice finish, and I'd love to see how 24" BD and 18" tom sound and feel!! The BD sure
is deeper than those vintage kit BDs that are 24x14 mostly I believe.
I'll put the Sonor up for sale. The market for used midrange kits isn't exactly huge here though, so there's a strong possibility I'll end up hanging on to it. If I ever do get a soundproof room in my home I'll at least have a kit to put there :-)

The kick is a powerhouse for sure. I haven't found the sweet spot for the 18" tom yet, but it sounds thunderous even now. As with my Sonors, I'll need to screw around with the tunings of the floor toms to find where they sound great and at the same time don't set eachother off. Right now, the 16" rings out whenever I hit the 18", so I'll have to move their tunings a bit further apart.
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Old 09-12-2012, 10:04 AM
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Default Re: My brand spanking new Mapex Saturn - Now with 100% more ROCK and 46% more ROLL

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
You do realize cutting a hole in the center of your kick reso head is like having no head at all right?
Yes, & not quite. A small port to one side certainly retains much more reso head involvement & head sustain than one in the middle, but a middle ported reso head offers a more rounded focus & more tone in the attack than a bass drum with no reso at all. A centre hole means pretty much relying on the batter head for any sustain, but that can work well in both recording & live mic scenarios in higher powered music.
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Old 09-12-2012, 10:04 AM
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Default Re: My brand spanking new Mapex Saturn - Now with 100% more ROCK and 46% more ROLL

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If these are as good as you say then maybe our dearly departed was on to something and has been unfairly judged?
Wouldn't matter if he stumbled upon the fountain of youth, Pol. Anyone bleating that long and hard could never be considered unfairly judged.
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Old 09-12-2012, 03:23 PM
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Default Re: My brand spanking new Mapex Saturn - Now with 100% more ROCK and 46% more ROLL

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Beautiful set! Congrats!
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Old 09-12-2012, 03:31 PM
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Default Re: My brand spanking new Mapex Saturn - Now with 100% more ROCK and 46% more ROLL

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And what is this "center hole" versatility of which you speak?

Dennis
Dennis, I was joking, but also sort of referring to this:
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[...] that can work well in both recording & live mic scenarios in higher powered music.
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Old 09-12-2012, 03:53 PM
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Default Re: My brand spanking new Mapex Saturn - Now with 100% more ROCK and 46% more ROLL

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Wouldn't matter if he stumbled upon the fountain of youth, Pol. Anyone bleating that long and hard could never be considered unfairly judged.
Agreed entirely.

I think they're superb drums. Congratulations on your purchase. They will serve you very well indeed and of that I have no doubt.
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Old 09-12-2012, 04:14 PM
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Default Re: My brand spanking new Mapex Saturn - Now with 100% more ROCK and 46% more ROLL

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Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
Very nice Naige. Clean & workmanlike.

When do the other 27 drums arrive?

funny thing is, having remembered sticks had a website, if you check, he just bought a 4 piece kit, I'm pretty sure I can hear hell freezing over, or wait, was that the Eagles getting back together :-)
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  #37  
Old 09-14-2012, 05:09 AM
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Default Re: My brand spanking new Mapex Saturn - Now with 100% more ROCK and 46% more ROLL

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Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
Yes, & not quite. A small port to one side certainly retains much more reso head involvement & head sustain than one in the middle, but a middle ported reso head offers a more rounded focus & more tone in the attack than a bass drum with no reso at all. A centre hole means pretty much relying on the batter head for any sustain, but that can work well in both recording & live mic scenarios in higher powered music.
Yup. I just came back from a Mike Mangini clinic and all 3 bass drums were ported in the center.

Nice drums BTW. Congrats!!
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Old 09-16-2012, 05:53 AM
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Default Re: My brand spanking new Mapex Saturn - Now with 100% more ROCK and 46% more ROLL

Love the drums and the white on black chrome! I am having my church order me the same kit and finish for me in a few months. Saturns are awesome! Enjoy.
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Old 09-23-2012, 08:30 AM
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Default Re: My brand spanking new Mapex Saturn - Now with 100% more ROCK and 46% more ROLL

So how much did this kit end up costing as opposed to the 6-piece shell packs Mapex sells for around $1600? Looking to buy one myself but if my desire for a 20" bass drum and 15" floor tom will cost me big bucks, I'd rather buy the Birch/Walnut pack and be done with it...
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Old 09-23-2012, 09:29 AM
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Default Re: My brand spanking new Mapex Saturn - Now with 100% more ROCK and 46% more ROLL

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Originally Posted by abapicaltaenia View Post
So how much did this kit end up costing as opposed to the 6-piece shell packs Mapex sells for around $1600? Looking to buy one myself but if my desire for a 20" bass drum and 15" floor tom will cost me big bucks, I'd rather buy the Birch/Walnut pack and be done with it...
I got it for a very good price, among other things because I've helped the guys at the dealer out with some stuff before.

However, the list price on a custom configuration is definitely a fair bit higher than a pre-configured setup. The list price for my toms and kick are about the same as a Saturn Studioease shellpack, which has one more tom and also comes with a snare.

It was definitely worth it for me though. Taking the step up to a pro kit, I didn't want to compromise on what sizes I wanted.
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